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Contextualising environmental theology at Unisa and in African society

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This article* sets out the main objectives of a new chair and related centre or institute at the University of South Africa for Religious Research and Environmental Reform which Professor Daneel has envisaged for several years. The objectives of: teaching environmental theology at various levels (including contextualised courses for African Initiated Churches at the grassroots of African society); initiating empirical research projects (as feasibility studies for new environmental projects, studies for monitoring project implementation, the gauging of societal response to environmental initiatives, etc; and introducing a wide range of field operations through the motivation and empowerment of religious or other communities, are closely related to the religio-ecological models already developed by the Zimbabwean Institute of Religious Research and Ecological Conservation (ZIRRCON) in Zimbabwe. These objectives also correspond with the threefold mission of Unisa. It is worthy of note that a substantial grant of R2,3 million was made by Goldfields, South Africa, early in December 1994 towards the realisation of the goals set out in this paper. These goals were later modified, in consultation with Professor Daneel, by Reverend David Olivier, environmental theologian in the Department of Systematic Theology at Unisa. Reverend Olivier will be the first executive director, with Professor Daneel acting as senior consultant, of what initially will be called the Goldfields Project of Faith and Earthkeeping at Unisa.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Missiology University of South Africa PO Box 392 Pretoria 0001 Republic of South Africa


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